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Back then, when we were dead (soundtrack)

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 04:25 am
I don't know if someone will be interested in this. Few years ago, when I was regular on this forums (hope to be again Smile ) a lot of people asked me about living in a war, because I am from small town that was heavily destroyed during war 1991-1995. Somehow, it's almost impossible to explane such things, and here's some kind of a try.
I'll just put here a first part, and if somebody will actually want me to continue, I will...

I deeply apologize for my translation, I'm sure there are some weird mistakes, but it's very very hard to translate something to a language that is not yours.


http://img131.imageshack.us/img131/7940/karlovacgalleryfullvj3gp6.jpg


BACK THEN, WHEN WE WERE DEAD


http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/8692/026mx5.jpg


1. Everybody hurts


http://img131.imageshack.us/img131/3797/014we2.jpg



The World has died.
Or maybe we died, and found ourselves in a world that we don't know.
Whatever was the truth, we had to start over.

Maybe it would be easier if we were somebody else, and not just scared kids.
Maybe it would be harder if we were somebody else, and not just kids that grew up too early and firmly decided that they will never show their fear.

Highway was endlessly empty and for the moment I thought about that summer night, when workers finally left, and I thought of us, sitting on a fence, watching still warm asphalt, shiny white lines and signposts with the names of cities on seaside.
Today, asphalt was still fresh, but white lines were dirty, not because of tires and traffic, but from dust that was falling on them for couple of thousand years, all the time from that summer, from First World, from that night when we were nothing else but bunch of 15-year old kids, smiling in a calm and peacefull summer night.

Down below, there was our town, and from a distance it looked just like a town we used to know. Only unbearable silence and a blinking yellow traffic lights were reminder that nothing is same anymore, that never will be, and that all that we can do is to try to start over, to forget about everything and to see if this new world can be nice as well. At least sometimes.

And sometimes it actually could. Covered with huge sadness that was unable to come out, terrifying fear that we childishly refused to let out, and the worst part - autistic vacuum in which we were falling from time to time, we found out that deep inside us there's also a whole microworld, only ours, and built by our rules.

One of those moments was now, on an empty highway, while Goga was sitting on a fence, with wind in her hair and sun in her eyes. She smiled, took some kind of twig, and started to draw invisible painting on dusty asphalt.
I was sitting on a same warm asphalt, Danijel and Marina were laughing, down below was our town, down below was a river, there were abandoned fields filled with wild blackberries, and far away, there was a smoke, rising to a sky.
On the right, through the humid air of July there were shivering images of shiny white UNPROFOR trucks and jeeps, barbed wire, and houses without roofs.

But, it was pleasant afternoon, and they were laughing when, just like in that video, I stood on a small wall between two highway lines, and started to sing "Everybody hurts".
We were laughing, and laughing...and then we suddenly got serious, looked each other, and somehow we knew that we love each other, that we understand each other, that maybe everything around is fucked up, but that it's us...that only here we are ourselves, and that only here we can be ourselves.

Sky was turnirng red.
- It's late, we have to go home - girls said, because our parent haven't understood that we are already dead, and that nothing can hurt us anymore. And they were especially scared of nights, like bombshells or bullets are more efficient in the dark.

They left, and over there, down the highway, their silhouttes were slowly disappearing until they became the one with the town.
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Gala
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 08:30 am
Thanks for posting this. It's completely interesting-- this is not tongue and cheek, but it's good to have someone posting about something real instead of all the political fighting and sniping topics about the ol' USA.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 09:02 am
I hope you continue MOU! As painful as it might be, writing about what happened to you and your fellow countrymen should help you, and it
will help us to understand (if there ever is an understanding to all those
atrocities) what was going on in your part of the world while the rest of
us looked the other way.

It was such a senseless war and so very many lives were left behind,
and for the ones who are still alive, the nightmares and fears won't subside.

My heart goes out to you and all the people who suffer.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 09:11 am
Please continue, MOU.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:35 am
MOU, I assume that this is a translation from an album. If you can do YouTube, perhaps you can help us with this haunting song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88FzJI8RxhU
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 11:04 am
thanks all, I will continue, I'll just wait to some other dear friends from forum to read it, I don't want to put too much at the same time. Tomorrow probably :-)


Letty, I am not sure about your first sentence (what is translation from an album? Smile )
Actually, that song in your link has nothing to do with video, it's somebody's homevideo, I don't know why he chose that song. Song is about Kupres plateau in Bosnia. It's a very rough place to live, Croats are majority there, and song is, let's say, about people that left to other countries while nobody is left on Kupres to plough fields and meadows and to sow grain...
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 11:16 am
MOU, generally a soundtrack is a group of songs taken from a movie, etc.

I was a little confused about why it was in the original writing forum, but obviously you have written it yourself.

Thank you for your succinct explanation about that song.
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 11:26 am
Yes, I wrote it myself. And 'soundtrack' is part of the title because each chapter is named by one song.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 12:51 pm
Then I am awed by your lovely words, MOU, especially these lines:

"here we are ourselves, and that only here we can be ourselves.

Sky was turnirng red.
- It's late, we have to go home - girls said, because our parent haven't understood that we are already dead, and that nothing can hurt us anymore. And they were especially scared of nights, like bombshells or bullets are more efficient in the dark.

They left, and over there, down the highway, their silhouttes were slowly disappearing until they became the one with the town."

I can see that picture in my mind's eye. No need to corect the spelling unless you want to do so.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 02:08 pm
You had me in the verge of tears, drug MOU.
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 02:21 pm
This line got me: We were laughing, and laughing...and then we suddenly got serious, looked each other, and somehow we knew that we love each other, that we understand each other, that maybe everything around is **** up, but that it's us...that only here we are ourselves, and that only here we can be ourselves.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 05:23 pm
I look forward to the next song/chapter.

You have a wonderfully visual way of writing.

Thank you for coming back - and sharing with us again.
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 05:57 pm
thanks a lot ehbeth. I will, probably tomorrow. problem is that I have it in croatian, and it's hard do translate such things Smile
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jul, 2008 06:48 pm
When you have a chance. We'll be here.



(of course now I've had to go off and do some more reading on Croatia - and I want to go talk to my neighbours - and ... one song leads to so much ...)
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2008 01:01 pm
(maybe I forgot to mention last time - all photos are of my town, Karlovac, Croatia. in every chapter, first picture is from peace, others are, obviusly, from war years. and story is, unfortunately, completely true)


BACK THEN, WHEN WE WERE DEAD, Part Two


http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/5700/jesen2kz5.jpg


There's no way to explane what was like living in a war. Sometimes today, when I see some photos, it's hard even for me to believe that it was really my town, that it was really me, that it was really us - that we lived in that.


2. California dreaming / Losing my religion



http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/4484/008pg6.jpg


Day after attack we are on a highway again.
- My father would just killed me if he knew I was here - Goga says, while sun is playing on her face and makes it easier for me to memorize spacing of her freckles.
Everything is silent, we are less then a mile from a frontline, but somehow we feel that we are secure here on an abandoned highway. It's our place, nobody knows about it, nobody will find us, and here, we feel like a kids we stopped to be so suddenly.
- You know, I saw you in the morning - she says - you had walkman, you must've had listened to a California dreaming again.
- It's a song for highway, what can I say...
We are smiling, but suddenly she gets serious:
- Don't leave - she looks me straight in the eyes - don't.
- You know I'm gonna stay.
- You better. War would be so much less fun without you.

Later, she is going home. We walk in opposite directions, and then I decide to sit on a bench. On my left side huge tree is still tumbled over the street, blinking yellow lights reflect in a broken glass on the floor. On my right side, she is entering her house. Beautiful 16-year old girl, with R.E.M. t-shirt and All Star shoes. Just in front of her gates, she makes a small jump, to avoid pile of broken glass and facade on the floor.
She does that easy and charming, just like all her life she was preparing to all obstacles one lousy war can make.


http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/4905/036zm6.jpg


Next week, school starts again.

We're having a break.

Spring is blooming, it's crowded in front of Caffe Galerija, it's crowded over there, on a way to a store, and all this crowd makes you feel like it's like it used to be.
Doors of our high school, enclosed with planks and cement sacks, school windows coated by thick scotch tape, wounded yellow building, as well as asphalt, from all those bombshells...all of that somehow disappeared...like it never existed.

There's only a spring, smell of plants and water, hum of scholars, smiling and taunting girls, taste of Coke on the palate, young voices under incredibly blue sky.
At that moment, someone inside turns up the volume, Losing my religion is on the radio, and on your face you feel a smile, spontaneous smile, smile that you lost somewhere in First World, centuries ago. Easy, boyish, relaxed smile.

There is no such thing like 'the best song in the world'. It's all just matter of moment and feeling.

But, nevertheless, that spring, while we were dead (and yet we felt great sometimes), in that small town, in that big war...it became clear that Losing my religion will always remain the Song with big 'S', one that will always mean something that you will never be able to explane to someone that wasn't there that afternoon, between 3.35 and 3.50pm, in front of Karlovac Gymnasium and Caffe Galerija, under the sun, and under the sky, blue like it used to be years ago.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2008 04:35 pm
"On my right side, she is entering her house. Beautiful 16-year old girl, with R.E.M. t-shirt and All Star shoes. Just in front of her gates, she makes a small jump, to avoid pile of broken glass and facade on the floor.
She does that easy and charming, just like all her life she was preparing to all obstacles one lousy war can make. "

Very cinema-like, a beautiful scene beautifully told.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jul, 2008 06:49 pm
yes, the small jump

a beautiful scene

I can see it.
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jul, 2008 01:44 pm
thank you both
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2008 07:38 pm
Would love to read the third installment.
0 Replies
 
MyOwnUsername
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 01:46 am
I'm a little bit busy with my work, but today or tomorrow...
Although, considering huge interest, I might as well send it to you and ehbeth through PM Smile
0 Replies
 
 

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